The New American Dream

Author, speaker and creative consultant, Annette Moser-Wellman, is coming from a soulful place. In a recent post on her new blog she reminds us that there’s much more to life than material possessions, status, promotions, award-winning campaigns and the like.

There’s a new American dream. Working on projects that matter and pursuing work we are passionate about have become the gold-standard of a life well-lived. Instead of amassing stockpiles of money, more are choosing to spend energy creating a better world. From fighting global warming, to battling poverty, technological tools have brought Americans closer to the plight of the human community and we are responding.
Legacy used to be a goal dangling at the end of life. But the ability to effect change now, through influencing public opinion, grass-roots fund-raising and more, have proven legacy is a real-time effort. The question becomes “Am I living a life with purpose today?

I’ve been asking myself this question on a daily basis for the past few months, and the answers I find are rarely what I want to hear.
I once had such high hopes for my ad career. Now, my main thought is I want to use this decade plus of learning and experience to benefit my community, or someone else’s community for that matter. Selling products of questionable merit for a company I don’t care about is a waste of time and resources in my book. Even if you make decent money at it, you go home with an empty feeling and there’s simply no future in such things. Not for me.
Advertising is a powerful medium, but it’s almost always abused. Those of us who create branded communications do so for anyone willing to pay our way. I’d like to become a lot more selective. There are plenty of worthy products, services and causes that need advertising.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.